Worshipping With Mind, Body, and Soul

Notice how, in John 20, Christ breathed upon His disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” That’s one example of a principle of Christianity: physical acts carry spiritual power. The greatest physical act filled with spiritual power is The Incarnation. The Incarnation – when a spiritual God became material flesh and blood – is like a stone thrown into the pond of the universe: ripples of grace go forth through the whole material world. Classical Christianity – what Christians have believed everywhere, in all places, and at all times – has a positive and holistic worldview: creation is filled with opportunities to discover and express the glory of the Incarnate God. The water of baptism, the oil of healing, the beeswax of candles, the tree sap of incense, the wood and color of icons, the pulp of a bible, the grapes and wheat of Holy Communion – these are examples of how Orthodoxy uses creation to worship the Creator. And the singing? One early Church writer answers that this way: “He who sings, prays twice.”

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